Note: Lymantriidae are not a family, they are Erebidae! But for the purpose of this website I seperate them.

Lymantriidae, now Lymantriinae, a subfamily of Erebidae or “tussock moths” is a family of moths with about 2500 described species. Their most notable traits are the hairy larvae that are often armed with sharp irritating hairs and have remarkable tufts alongside their head. Adults do not feed, and females are generally larger than males. A number of species has flightless females with no wings. Tussock moths can be found nearly all over the world. Interestingly, the sharp irritating hairs can be utilised in nearly all life stages; although only the larvae yield them, discarded larval hairs are sometimes also incorporated in the silk of the cocoons and in some cases then even carried on the abdomen or body of the adult, and sometimes even used to coat the eggs – for some species this defense mechanism is integral part of their biology. They can be notorious defoliators and a threat as invasive species, such as Lymantria dispar that has done massive defoliation damage in North America.

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Citations: Coppens, B. (2019); Written by Bart Coppens; based on a real life breeding experience [for citations in literature and publications] 

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The aim of this website is to provide information about many species of moths and butterflies around the world, with a slight focus on rearing them in captivity.

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